Creating content can be difficult on its own, but sometimes an even bigger challenge is ensuring that it reaches the target audience. Careful content crafting must always be married to a well-planned marketing strategy; otherwise, those you hope to help or to draw to your business will likely never hear your message.
The members of Fast Company Executive Board know that a successful content strategy takes more than just a clever way with words. Below, 14 of them share practical steps marketing teams can take to drive more traffic to a company’s published content.
1. REQUEST QUOTES FROM INFLUENCERS.
If you are writing an article, ask other influencers in your space to share a quote with their insights, then have them sign off before publication. They’ll share the content with their networks once it’s up, so by including them, you’re “baking in” distribution. – Gergo Vari, Lensa
2. LEVERAGE BYLINED ARTICLES AND GUEST POSTING.
Seed your ideas and thought leadership on other websites through a bylined article or guest posting strategy. When someone reads and enjoys your content on the website of a well-known industry publication, they are likely to look for more of it—which will bring them straight to your website. – Scott Baradell, Idea Grove
3. SHARE CONTENT IN VARIOUS WAYS, ACCORDING TO THE AUDIENCE.
Creating valuable content will resonate with your audience, and segmenting the release of your content—on blogs or social media, in newsletters, and so on—by your audience group will create higher engagement. Since the end goal is promoting thought leadership, authentic storytelling can often be one of the best ways of capturing your audience’s attention and reinforcing your brand and industry position. – Irfan Khan, CLOUDSUFI
4. PERFECT YOUR TIMING.
It’s not just what you say, it’s when you say it that really counts. A good message is delivered precisely when a customer needs it—and that isn’t marketing, it’s great customer service. Focus on finding the moments that matter in your customers’ lives. Because when you can make a message rise to the level of great service, your audience will want more of it. In fact, they’ll come looking for it. – Barry Fiske, LiveArea, a Merkle Company
5. TRACK YOUR RESULTS.
Track it. Put your content out on multiple platforms, in multiple formats, then identify what’s getting you the results that matter to you. That may be an increase in the number of calls booked, more engagement in a certain area of your business, or even increased interest in you, yourself. Figure out where those desired results are coming from the most, and go all-in on that strategy. This intel can be the difference between bringing in or losing out on millions of dollars in revenue. – Benjamin Nader, 6 Figure Recruiter
6. OPTIMIZE HEADINGS AND SUBHEADINGS.
Many businesses don’t optimize their content headlines and subheadings properly. A good blog or article title not only increases your search result ranking but also attracts people. Use a headline analyzer and create short but descriptive blog titles that clearly tell the reader what the content is about. This simple step alone can help boost traffic without too much effort. – Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner
7. BOOST YOUR ALREADY PUBLISHED POSTS.
Assuming you’ve created quality content and have already posted it to your social channels, don’t forget to boost your existing posts. This can be done both by paying for a boost in the ad account and by using a tagging strategy. Tag relevant connections in the comments to boost engagement and expand the reach of your post. – Kevin Namaky, Gurulocity Brand Management Institute
8. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH INFLUENCERS.
Invest time into building strong relationships with influencers. People who are passionate about your product or service can be the biggest cheerleaders for your brand. Influencers also have the power to create a community, and that can have a much greater impact than any advertising or promotion. – Kelley Higney, Bug Bite Thing
9. DEVOTE MORE TIME TO CONTENT PROMOTION.
Spend twice as much time on promoting your content. One common mistake many businesses make is creating new content all the time and not promoting it enough. “New” is not necessarily “good.” You can achieve much better results with a few well-written, well-optimized, and sufficiently advertised pieces than you will if you try to put out a fresh blog post every week. – Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS
10. PARTNER WITH HELPFUL MEDIA OUTLETS.
Partner with media outlets that allow marketers to engage with their target audience in a way that doesn’t seem to be a direct advertisement or shameless self-promotion. Work to build thought leaders within your organization who, in turn, will organically grow the public’s interest in your organization’s brand and content. – Amanda Dorenberg, COMMB
11. HIT EVERY CHANNEL WHEN PUTTING OUT CONTENT.
Integrate your strategy … yesterday! List all of your main communication channels—email, social, PR, media—and make sure that you hit all of them when you are putting out content. Then add one more channel: internal promotion. Create content that your employees are not embarrassed to share—content that they actually want to promote. Sometimes your secret weapon is right under your nose. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
12. CONNECT TO WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE NEWS.
Connect your story to something great happening in the news, especially if it strongly resonates with your audience. Positive societal transformations can be emotional times, so grab these emotions and build stories from them. Be sure to walk your talk; otherwise, this tactic may be perceived as misguided and manipulative. – Phnam Bagley, Nonfiction Design
13. USE EMPATHETIC LANGUAGE.
Empathy is paramount when you’re looking to drive people to your content. You must be able to connect on a human level by putting yourself in the shoes of the person you are trying to connect with. “You” and “we” language lets people feel that they are being included instead of talked to—talking “at” the audience is a huge mistake on social media and in most marketing emails. – Richard RB Botto, Stage 32
14. USE SMART LINK BUILDING AND SOCIAL MEDIA TACTICS.
Leverage a combination of effective link building and social media. It might seem old-fashioned at this point, but link building works by sending people who have accessed content with similar topics to yours back to your site. Also, finding your target audience on the correct social media platform will make it easier to drive traffic. If your customers are on Twitter, for example, posting about your blog drives traffic quickly. – Jason Hall, Five Channels